|Publication number||US20090089706 A1|
|Application number||US 11/865,664|
|Publication date||Apr 2, 2009|
|Filing date||Oct 1, 2007|
|Priority date||Oct 1, 2007|
|Also published as||US8127246|
|Publication number||11865664, 865664, US 2009/0089706 A1, US 2009/089706 A1, US 20090089706 A1, US 20090089706A1, US 2009089706 A1, US 2009089706A1, US-A1-20090089706, US-A1-2009089706, US2009/0089706A1, US2009/089706A1, US20090089706 A1, US20090089706A1, US2009089706 A1, US2009089706A1|
|Inventors||Elizabeth Caroline Furches, Imran A Chaudhri, Bas Ording|
|Original Assignee||Apple Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (9), Classifications (5), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The subject matter of this specification relates generally to graphical user interfaces.
Many of today's computers and devices include a graphical user interface (“GUI”), through which a user can interact with the computer or device. A GUI can include various user interface elements, such as windows, scroll bars, and so on. Some of these elements can be manipulated by users to perform actions. For example, the user can click on a window or a scroll bar and move it within the GUI. Conventional user interface elements are often static in their appearance, which can detract from the overall look and feel of the GUI.
In general, one aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting movement of a user interface element including first and second pattern layers, and while the user interface element is moving, translating a first pattern layer relative to a second pattern layer. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, computer program products, and computer readable media.
In general, one aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of detecting movement of a user interface element, and while the user interface element is moving, modifying a graphical characteristic of the user interface element. Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding systems, apparatus, computer program products, and computer readable media.
Particular embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification can be implemented to realize one or more of the following advantages. Movable user interface elements can be made more aesthetically pleasing during movement of the elements.
The details of one or more embodiments of the subject matter described in this specification are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages of the subject matter will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims.
Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements.
The computer 102 also includes a local storage device 106 and a graphics module 113 (e.g., graphics card) for storing information and generating user interface elements, respectively. The local storage device 106 can be a computer-readable medium. The term “computer-readable medium” refers to any medium that includes data and/or participates in providing instructions to a processor for execution, including without limitation, non-volatile media (e.g., optical or magnetic disks), volatile media (e.g., memory) and transmission media. Transmission media includes, without limitation, coaxial cables, copper wire, fiber optics, and computer buses. Transmission media can also take the form of acoustic, light or radio frequency waves.
While generating and presenting user interface elements are described with respect to a personal computer 102, it should be apparent that the disclosed implementations can be incorporated in, or integrated with, any electronic device that has a user interface, including without limitation, portable and desktop computers, servers, electronics, media players, game devices, mobile phones, smart phones, email devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), embedded devices, televisions, other consumer electronic devices, set top boxes, etc.
One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the engines, methods, processes and the like that are described can themselves be an individual process or application, part of an operating system, a plug-in, an application, or the like. In one implementation, the system and methods can be implemented as one or more plug-ins that are installed and run on the personal computer 102. The plug-ins are configured to interact with an operating system (e.g., MAC OS X, WINDOWS XP, WINDOWS VISTA, LINUX, etc.) and to perform the various functions, as described with respect to
The computer 102 can store data items, such as files and other data objects, in the local storage device 106, for example. Examples of data items include documents, images or graphics, video clips, audio clips, and so forth.
In some implementations, the computer 102 can generate and present user interfaces that include one or more user interface elements. Examples of user interface elements include, without limitation, windows, buttons, scroll bars, icons, sliders, tabs, toolbars, and so on.
In some implementations, a user interface includes one or more user interface elements that can be manipulated by a user. The user interface elements can serve as control points through which the user can manipulate the user interface and communicate with the computer 102. Examples of user interface elements that can be manipulated by a user include scroll bars, sliders, buttons, and so on. For example, a window can include one or more scroll bars, which the user can use to scroll through content presented in the window.
In some implementations, a user interface element in the user interface can be moved by the user. The user, for example, can click on a user interface element (e.g., a scroll bar, a slider) and drag it to move it. Depending on the particular element, a user interface element can be moved freely within the bounds of the display screen or be constrained to move along a predefined path.
The base layer 202 defines one or more basic characteristics of the user interface element 200. In some implementations, the base layer 202 is a graphic that includes the color of the user interface element 200. For example, the base layer 202 can be a shape that is filled with the desired color for the user interface element 200.
One or more pattern layers 204 (shown as pattern layers 204-A and 204-B) define one or more graphical patterns on the user interface element 200. In some implementations, a pattern layer is a graphic that includes a graphical pattern. An example of a graphical pattern is a series of spaced-apart wave shapes. In some implementations, each of the pattern layers 204 has respective patterns, and visual effects on the user interface element 200 can be generated by translating the pattern layers relative to each other. In some implementations, patterns overlaid on the base layer 202 take on the color of the base layer 202 or some shade thereof.
A shaping layer 206 defines a shape of the user interface element 200. In some implementations, the shaping layer 206 includes an area that is in the desired shape for the user interface element. For example, if the user interface element 200 is a scroll bar, the shaping layer 206 can include an area that is generally rectangular with square or rounded ends. When the shaping layer 206 is overlaid over the other layers, such as the base layer 202 and the pattern layers 204, the rectangular area encloses portions of the layers 202, 204, including the colors and patterns from layers 202, 204. The enclosed area, including the color and patterns, is combined and rendered as the user interface element.
In some implementations, the user interface element can further include a control details layer. The control details layer defines what actions can be performed on the user interface element or how the user interface element can be manipulated by a user. In some other implementations, control details can be included in the base layer 202.
Some user interface elements can be manipulated by a user. For example, a user can click-and-drag a scroll bar or a slider to move it along a predefined path. In some implementations, while a user interface element is moving (e.g., dragged by a user), one or more pattern layers 204 can be translated or shifted relative to other pattern layers within the user interface element. As shown in
A base layer is generated (302). In some implementations, the graphics module 113 can generate the base layer based on predefined specifications. For example, the graphics module 113 generates a base layer that is filled with a particular color. In some implementations, a generated base layer includes alpha channel values. In some other implementations, the base layer can further include control details based on the user interface element to be generated.
One or more pattern layers are generated (304). The graphics module 113 can generate a pattern layer based on predefined pattern specifications. In some implementations, a generated pattern layer includes alpha channel values. In some implementations, the graphics module 113 can generate multiple graphical layers, each with its own pattern. In an example implementation, a pattern is alpha masked into a layer by the graphics module 113.
A shaping layer is generated (306). In some implementations, the graphics module 113 can generate a shaping layer for a desired user interface element based on predefined specifications. For example, if the desired user interface element is a scroll bar, a scroll bar shaping layer is generated. On the other hand, if the desired user interface element is a slider control, a slider shaping layer is generated. In some other implementations, there are stored in the computer 102 predefined shaping layers for various user interface elements. The graphics module 113 identifies and retrieves the appropriate shaping layer based on the desired user interface element.
In some implementations, additional layers can be generated. For example, a control details layer can be generated by the graphics module 113. The control details layer defines limitations on how users can manipulate the user interface element.
A user interface element is generated (308). In some implementations, the user interface element is generated by compositing the generated layers. For example, the graphics module 113 can composite the base layer, the one or more pattern layers, and the shaping layer to form a user interface element. In some implementation, the compositing is performed using alpha masking techniques, which are well-known in the art.
An input moving the user interface element is received (402). In some implementations, a user can direct the system 100 to move a displayed user interface element. For example, a user can, using an input device (e.g., a mouse), select (e.g., by clicking) the user interface element and drag the user interface element to move it.
Movement of the user interface element is detected (404). The system 100 detects, based on the received input, movement of the user interface element by the user. In some implementations, system 100 also detects the direction of the movement.
While the user interface element is moving, one or more pattern layers in the user interface element is/are translated relative to one or more other patterns layers in the user interface element (406). As the user interface element moves in response to user input, the system 100 shifts one or more pattern layers within the user interface element relative to other pattern layers in the user interface element, while all of the pattern layers in the user interface element are moving together as part of the user interface element. The shift of a pattern layer relative to the other pattern layers can be in the direction of the movement of the user interface element. Thus, for example, if the user interface element is moving horizontally rightward, the pattern is translated rightward relative to the other patterns.
In some implementations, the rate at which a pattern layer is translated is a function of the speed at which the user interface element moves. In one implementation, the translation is pixel-for-pixel with respect to the user interface element. That is, the pattern on the pattern layer is translated one pixel relative to the patterns on the other pattern layers for each pixel of movement of the user interface element. In another implementation, the translation rate is linearly proportional to the speed at which the user interface element is moving. In a further implementation, the translation rate is non-linearly proportional to the speed at which the user interface element is moving. In yet another implementation, the translation rate is a constant, regardless of how fast the user interface element is moving.
The translation (e.g., of a pattern layer relative to other pattern layers) stops when the user interface element stops moving. If the user interface element moves again in the same direction as before, the translation resumes.
In some implementations, one or more of the pattern layers in the user interface element can be translated relative to the other pattern layers in the user interface element. The pattern layers that are translated can all have the same translation rate, or each of these pattern layers can have its own translation rate.
The direction of movement of the user interface element can be changed by the user through an input device 114. The system 100 can detect the change in direction based on the received user input. In some implementations, the pattern layers on the user interface element can be changed (e.g., reversed) in response to the change in direction, reversing the patterns on the reversed layers. In this example, one or more of the reversed patterns are translated in the new direction of movement relative to the other patterns.
The translation of the patterns in the user interface element is displayed on-screen. The user perceives the translation as a visual effect on the user interface element that occurs when the user interface element is moved.
Shaping layer 508 includes an area 512 that defines the shape of the user interface element to be generated and an opaque area 514 that masks out the portions of the layers that are outside of the area 512.
The layers 502, 504, 506, and 508 can be composited using alpha masking techniques, for example. The result of the compositing is a scroll bar 510. The scroll bar 510 has the shape defined by area 512. The patterns in layers 504 and 504 are combined. Parts of the scroll bar 510 adopts the color of the base layer 502 and other parts of the scroll bar 502 adopt a shade of the base layer color, depending on the alpha channel values in the layers.
While the implementations described above describe translating pattern layers in response to movement of the user interface element, other graphical changes to the user interface element can be performed in response to movement of the user interface element. For example, a user interface element can include one or more layers that define lighting, shading, or color characteristics for the user interface element. When the user moves the user interface element, the layer or layers change to change the lighting, shading, or color characteristics of the user interface element. For example, a vertical scrollbar can have a brighter shading as it is moved closer to the top, and a darker shading as it is moved closer to the bottom.
More generally, various graphical characteristics of one or more elements in a graphical user interface can be changed in response to various conditions or inputs at the computer 102, or in response to satisfaction of particular conditions or criteria, not just user input from a user input device. For example, the color or brightness of a menu bar can be changed based on the time of day, amount of computer use, activity or idleness of the computer, and so on. Further, in some implementations, the entire graphical user interface, not just particular user interface elements, can be changed in response to satisfaction of some condition or criterion.
The disclosed and other embodiments and the functional operations described in this specification can be implemented in digital electronic circuitry, or in computer software, firmware, or hardware, including the structures disclosed in this specification and their structural equivalents, or in combinations of one or more of them. The disclosed and other embodiments can be implemented as one or more computer program products, i.e., one or more modules of computer program instructions encoded on a computer-readable medium for execution by, or to control the operation of, data processing apparatus. The computer-readable medium can be a machine-readable storage device, a machine-readable storage substrate, a memory device, a composition of matter effecting a machine-readable propagated signal, or a combination of one or more them. The term “data processing apparatus” encompasses all apparatus, devices, and machines for processing data, including by way of example a programmable processor, a computer, or multiple processors or computers. The apparatus can include, in addition to hardware, code that creates an execution environment for the computer program in question, e.g., code that constitutes processor firmware, a protocol stack, a database management system, an operating system, or a combination of one or more of them. A propagated signal is an artificially generated signal, e.g., a machine-generated electrical, optical, or electromagnetic signal, that is generated to encode information for transmission to suitable receiver apparatus.
A computer program (also known as a program, software, software application, script, or code) can be written in any form of programming language, including compiled or interpreted languages, and it can be deployed in any form, including as a stand-alone program or as a module, component, subroutine, or other unit suitable for use in a computing environment. A computer program does not necessarily correspond to a file in a file system. A program can be stored in a portion of a file that holds other programs or data (e.g., one or more scripts stored in a markup language document), in a single file dedicated to the program in question, or in multiple coordinated files (e.g., files that store one or more modules, sub-programs, or portions of code). A computer program can be deployed to be executed on one computer or on multiple computers that are located at one site or distributed across multiple sites and interconnected by a communication network.
The processes and logic flows described in this specification can be performed by one or more programmable processors executing one or more computer programs to perform functions by operating on input data and generating output. The processes and logic flows can also be performed by, and apparatus can also be implemented as, special purpose logic circuitry, e.g., an FPGA (field programmable gate array) or an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit).
Processors suitable for the execution of a computer program include, by way of example, both general and special purpose microprocessors, and any one or more processors of any kind of digital computer. Generally, a processor will receive instructions and data from a read-only memory or a random access memory or both. The essential elements of a computer are a processor for performing instructions and one or more memory devices for storing instructions and data. Generally, a computer will also include, or be operatively coupled to receive data from or transfer data to, or both, one or more mass storage devices for storing data, e.g., magnetic, magneto-optical disks, or optical disks. However, a computer need not have such devices. Computer-readable media suitable for storing computer program instructions and data include all forms of non-volatile memory, media and memory devices, including by way of example semiconductor memory devices, e.g., EPROM, EEPROM, and flash memory devices; magnetic disks, e.g., internal hard disks or removable disks; magneto-optical disks; and CD-ROM and DVD-ROM disks. The processor and the memory can be supplemented by, or incorporated in, special purpose logic circuitry.
To provide for interaction with a user, the disclosed embodiments can be implemented on a computer having a display device, e.g., a CRT (cathode ray tube) or LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, for displaying information to the user and a keyboard and a pointing device, e.g., a mouse or a trackball, by which the user can provide input to the computer. Other kinds of devices can be used to provide for interaction with a user as well; for example, feedback provided to the user can be any form of sensory feedback, e.g., visual feedback, auditory feedback, or tactile feedback; and input from the user can be received in any form, including acoustic, speech, or tactile input.
The disclosed embodiments can be implemented in a computing system that includes a back-end component, e.g., as a data server, or that includes a middleware component, e.g., an application server, or that includes a front-end component, e.g., a client computer having a graphical user interface or a Web browser through which a user can interact with an implementation of what is disclosed here, or any combination of one or more such back-end, middleware, or front-end components. The components of the system can be interconnected by any form or medium of digital data communication, e.g., a communication network. Examples of communication networks include a local area network (“LAN”) and a wide area network (“WAN”), e.g., the Internet.
The computing system can include clients and servers. A client and server are generally remote from each other and typically interact through a communication network. The relationship of client and server arises by virtue of computer programs running on the respective computers and having a client-server relationship to each other.
While this specification contains many specifics, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of what being claims or of what may be claimed, but rather as descriptions of features specific to particular embodiments. Certain features that are described in this specification in the context of separate embodiments can also be implemented in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features that are described in the context of a single embodiment can also be implemented in multiple embodiments separately or in any suitable subcombination. Moreover, although features may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, one or more features from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination, and the claimed combination may be directed to a subcombination or variation of a subcombination.
Similarly, while operations are depicted in the drawings in a particular order, this should not be understand as requiring that such operations be performed in the particular order shown or in sequential order, or that all illustrated operations be performed, to achieve desirable results. In certain circumstances, multitasking and parallel processing may be advantageous. Moreover, the separation of various system components in the embodiments described above should not be understood as requiring such separation in all embodiments, and it should be understood that the described program components and systems can generally be integrated together in a single software product or packaged into multiple software products.
Thus, particular embodiments have been described. Other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.
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|Cooperative Classification||Y10S715/973, G06F3/04855|
|Dec 13, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: APPLE INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FURCHES, ELIZABETH CAROLINE;CHAUDHRI, IMRAN A.;ORDING, BAS;REEL/FRAME:020408/0333
Effective date: 20071001